Strabane man jailed for attack on Donegal builder

A builder who told workmates he was part of the British Army Cadet Force was beaten up and fled Donegal because he feared for his life.

Father-of-three Paul McGeady had been drinking with other builders after they finished work on a construction site during the ‘building boom’ in Trentagh.

However he let it slip he had been a member of the ACF but didn’t join the full British Army because he might have to serve in Northern Ireland

Paul McGeady was offered a lift home by workmates but was then taken out of the van and beaten up.

Father-of-four John Carlin of Fountain Street, Strabane,admitted assaulting Mr.McGeady on June 13th, 2001 when he appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court.

43-year-old Carlin admitted battering Mr.McGeady after he had “lost the head.”

Mr McGeady also warned if he told anyone about the incident, he would be killed.

The victim, who was living in a four bedroom detached house with his wife and two children in Ballybofey, fled the country a week later for fear of his life.

Fighting back tears, he could not read out his victim impact statement but the court was told that his life had been destroyed by the incident.

He still lived in fear, his relationship with his wife was strained and his children also suffered after having to be taken out of school.

Carlin, whom the court was told had a Republican background, apologised in court to the victim for what had happened.

Judge John O’Hagan said he considered imposing community service and a suspended sentence on Carlin, but decided the attack was so serious he needed to send him to jail.

He sentenced Carlin to two years in prison and suspended the final six months.